Jaws of Life Used to Extract 78-Year-Old Woman From Traffic Accident Yesterday

Firefighters and other emergency personnel used the Jaws of Life to open a vehicle and extract a patient.

Firefighters and other emergency personnel used the Jaws of Life to open a vehicle and extract a patient. [Photo by Pernel S. Thyseldew]

Two local drivers, one of a 2011 Toyota Tacoma and the other of a 2006 Nissan Titan, collided on the Briceland Thorn Road west of Redway about 2:15 p.m. yesterday. Both were traveling westbound. The Titan had been pulled over and then attempted to re-enter the roadway when the two struck each other.

The Toyota Tacoma then went off the embankment. Firefighters extracted Mariann Mills, age 78 from Whitethorn, from her vehicle. She was then transported to the hospital complaining of pain and had minor injuries.

Marisol Aviles, a 26-year-old female from Redway who was driving the Titan was uninjured.

The California Highway Patrol, Garberville and Redway Fire Departments, County Roads and City Ambulance were all at the scene assisting.

Tow Truck

Firefighters and other emergency personnel used the Jaws of Life to open a vehicle and extract a patient.

Firefighters and other emergency personnel used the Jaws of Life to open a vehicle and extract a patient.



  • Glad everyone’s o.k. it happened right in front of my house

  • Who got the citation?

    • Most likely the driver who was stopped on the side of the road, who then entered traffic without yielding to approaching traffic.

  • The Jaws of Life are a new item and a new purchase for the Redway Fire Department. The Jaws are heavy-duty but light-weight. With the new vehicle designs it is almost impossible to pop doors open with a pry bar. Vehicles are made to safely contain a victim, so Jaws are required to safely remove them.

    The Jaws were just recently purchased with Measure Z funding.

    I see some of my old friends in the photos. I hope Mariann Mills will be okay. I know that she got the best of care during the extrication. All firefighters drill and train endlessly with the extrication tools.

    • so grateful for the wonderful souls of those who respond to challenges like this, thank you heroes

    • I have seen some very questionable Measure Z funded projects, but this one I fully support.

    • Update: The purchase of the brand-new Jaws of Life was done by the Redway Fire District, not measure Z as I stated. Measure Z bought the self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for the Redway Fire Department. The commissioners and the department are particularly proud of the fact that they were finally able to get new equipment.

      Ed Brady one of my past Fire Chiefs and a current commissioner noticed my oversight and mention that they had done the purchase themselves. Good Job Ed. (My mistake)

      The Jaws are already proving to be a great addition to the department.

      I wanted to correct this mistake before the post rolled off the page. It is hard to keep up with Kym, who has also been a great supporter of the local Fire Departments and fire services in general.

      Thank-you Kym for also mentioning the Briceland Fire Department fund-raiser this Saturday Sept. 8th 4:00 pm.

      • The Redway Fire District received eleven new high pressure self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) in the first year of Measure Z funding (2015/2016 cycle). The financial savings from this purchase enabled the RFD to purchase this new set of extrication tools. With ever increasing safety regulations relative to vehicle roll over protection, the steel used is much stronger than ever before. Older extrication tools often times have a difficult time cutting into new vehicles. The RFD chose to use the funds saved by the Measure Z purchase of our SCBA to purchase this state of the art set of extrication tools. Our district has signed automatic aid agreements with Briceland FD, Garberville FD, Phillipsville FD, and Miranda FD to respond to collisions just like this making these tools a regional asset. We would like to thank the public for their support and remind everyone Measure Z has made a very substantial positive impact on your local fire services.

      • Great job to Redway Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Brian Anderson and crew you guys are awesome

  • I hope the 26 year old learned her lesson. Even if your entering the road on a blind turn you can roll your window down and listen for traffic. Thank God the 78 year old female gets to finish her journey, how cool to get to live past 78!!!! Such a blessed length of time to live!!

    • In fairness to all involved…. Anyone who drives the Briceland / Thorn Road knows that it is extremely dangerous to leave the road and re-enter. Some road edges are at least a foot deep. Hopefully some new funding will be kicking in to fix some of the turn-outs. What happened here is a good example of the need for safe turn-outs.

      • Same is true here. I pretty much have memorized which turnouts are not too eroded, still have a long enough view before a curve to see vehicles coming and are wide enough to get totally off the road. There are not many, about a third of them are safe, even the few that are paved are not always safe.

      • Lived out there almost a decade, I never wrecked using the turnouts because I don’t pull out in front of vehicles. No amount of money will make it safe to not look and listen for on coming traffic and the rougher the turnout the more time you leave yourself to pull out. Making excuses for poor driving or anything is a waist time.

      • Agree completely with Ernie.

    • Muddy Black Dodge

      Listen for oncoming traffic ha ha ha… Thank you I needed a laugh. My guess; Sounds like a distracted driver in the Titan and a local little old lady who pulls off the road regularly to let people by. Shared fault on this one. Hopefully the growdozer assho#e$ and the $hithe&d$ who litterly push slower(often safer)driver’s off the road into dirt turnouts ( while gunning it past with a cloud of black smoke or gasaline fumes) read this article and see they could have been the ones to start this turn of events…

      • How about polite little old lady just driving down the road and the younger woman just didn’t see her. Maybe didn’t look, maybe a bad place to see, who knows?

        I hope M. M. is OK aside from a few bruises and bumps.

        And the other driver is cited!

  • once again, first responders making our lives better, hooray for safe rescue

  • A snip snip here. A snip snip there.

  • Use your signals. Even if its way out in the hills.

  • Hope Marianne is ok. Thanks again! 1st responders! Just wanted to point out that miracles do happen and mention that the two car swallowing potholes in that turnout got patched and filled last week…thanks county workers.

  • We know Marie and she is the sweetest person. She owns the Hemp store in Garberville. Prayers for this sweet woman🙏♥️

  • Sad to see this happen to an elderly person.

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